The Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Writing is an initiative of the scientific organization 100 Year Starship. The prize recognizes “the finest fiction and non-fiction works that expand our understanding of the challenges, opportunities, pitfalls, and rewards of interstellar space exploration.”

They are now accepting for submissions and nominations for their 2023 edition. One new award is being introduced this year: Original Local Short-Form Fiction. The category is open for any continental African to submit.

The submission theme is “Who Owns Space?” and explores the future of humanity in space. Writers are invited to explore the possible paths ahead in space, to help identify how various actions, technology focuses, policies, individuals, and communities, and even the stories we tell over the next 10 years may indelibly fix space exploration objectives, gatekeepers, and benefits for decades into the future.

According to their description:

For thousands of years, humans have looked up to the tapestry of stars, sun, moon, and lights in the sky—a compelling, if unreachable constant, connecting distant lands and cultures—an inheritance of all people. Space exploration, space-based technologies, and derivative capabilities, as well as its vision and magic, face a dilemma. Today, while more and more reachable, will the sky and space remain the inheritance for us all? Beyond the legal interpretation, today the very dream of space is being rewritten.

Speculative fiction writer Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (Nebula award winner; multiple Hugo awards; Locus award finalist; and World Fantasy award winner), is serving as a judge with 100YSS for the 2023 Original Local Short-Form Fiction Award.

Prizes include a spectacular crystal award, publication, and sponsorship to 100YSS special events and programs.

Deadline: November 30.

Five finalists will be selected from each of the award categories and will be announced in December. The Canopus Awards will be presented during the 100 Year Starship Nexus 2023 event held in Nairobi, Kenya January 31 through February 4, 2023. The Nexus 2023 theme is “When Space, Purpose, and Culture Collide.”

For more information about award criteria, nomination, and submission, go here.